The sterile processing technician is responsible for the decontamination, sterilization, packaging, reprocessing and distribution of surgical supplies, instrumentation, equipment and other accessories used in surgical procedures. Some sterile processing technicians are involved in the packaging of equipment for specialized surgeries.
Sterile processing technicians are generally responsible for the safety and cleanliness of operating rooms, tables and equipment in hospitals, private doctors' offices, specialized and outpatient surgical centers, and public health clinics.
The sterile processing technician is very important to the health of the patient receiving surgery and the smoothness and success of the operation. Infections and diseases can spread quickly, and the patient is in a state of heightened vulnerability when on the operating table.
Training in the sterile processing field covers sterilization and infection control techniques and often includes a clinical practicum and networking opportunities.
The SPD Technician Certification Exam (CSPDT) is available through the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA). It requires one of four qualifications: a 70 or higher in a Central Service/SPD Training Course, 12 months of full-time employment or equivalent part-time hours performing SPD activities, six months of full-time employment in a related health care profession in which they performed SPD-related duties, or 12 months of related product sales.